Brave New World – Rediscovering ‘When Worlds Collide’ (US 1951 – 83 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 06, 2016

A very good cult fantasy with no major stars, the colourful apocalyptic drama ‘When Worlds Collide’ is an exciting sci-fi picture, notable for being one of the few movies in which the world is ultimately destroyed rather than saved.

After studying astronomical charts, scientist Dr. Cole Hendron (Larry Keating) learns that there are two planets hurtling towards earth, risking its total destruction. When his findings are dismissed by the UN, Hendron creates a space-like Ark, funded by egotistical millionaire Sydney Stanton (John Hoyt) that will take a team of chosen individuals to the newly discovered planet of Zyra.

While the main …

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Panic in Needle Park – Rediscovering ‘Hanna D. – La Ragazza del Vondel Park’ (France/Italy 1984 – 83 mins)

Rediscover ‐ February 02, 2016

Though not as stylish or well made as the earlier German feature ‘Christiane F’ (’81), the low-budget and provocative ‘Hanna D: The Girl from Vondel Park’ took that film’s grim premise to an even darker place, leaving it a memorable piece of sexploitation with a few good intentions here and there.

Innocent 16 year old Hanna (Ann-Gisel Glass) is supporting both her and her boozy mother (Karin Schubert) by selling her body in and around Amsterdam’s vast Vondel Park. Scared away by the local prostitutes, Hanna is picked up by a local man (Fausto Lombardi) who talks her into being her …

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The Wrong Man – Rediscovering ‘Phantom Lady’ (US 1944 – 87 mins)

Rediscover ‐ January 25, 2016

A wonderfully dark and moody thriller, ‘Phantom Lady’ is rarely mentioned in the same sentence as other classic film-noirs. Yet, I think it’s one of the more accessible thrillers of the 1940’s, and one that holds your interest as we root for its appealing female lead to solve the central mystery.

Returning home from a date with a mysterious hat-wearing lady, Scott Henderson (Alan Curtis) is shocked to discover the dead body of his wife. Henderson is arrested for her murder, and in need of an alibi, can find nobody who can remember seeing him with the woman. After exhausting all …

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Cops, Crooks & Clowns – Richard Basehart (1914 – 1984)

Rewind ‐ January 18, 2016

One of the first American actors to explore European cinema, the serious-looking Richard Basehart gave many top drawer performances from both sides of the law. A diverse actor, he was also noted for his deep voice which he put to use in numerous productions, especially in his later years.

Born in Ohio on August 31st, 1914, Richard’s screen career got off to a strong start when he gave a superb performance as a cop turned killer, in the excellent thriller ‘He Walked By Night’ (’48), the first of his memorable run of noir roles. Anthony Mann took over directing duties on …

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A Fate Foretold – Rediscovering ‘Malamore’ (Italy 1982 – 90 mins)

Rediscover ‐ January 12, 2016

An intriguing adult tale with a touch of tragedy, the little seen Italian drama ‘Malamore’ is an obscure film with a simple plot, yet very well told.

During the 1st World War, Marcello (Jimmy Briscoe), a wealthy dwarf who has long been sheltered by his embarrassed family, meets and falls in love with Maria (Nathalie Nell), a prostitute from a nearby brothel. Their budding friendship is ridiculed by Maria’s boyfriend, who eventually sets out to rob and kill the dwarf. But when Maria’s tarot reading foresees danger for Marcello, she decides to intervene, but at a cost to her own wellbeing.

An …

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Apocalypse Now – Rediscovering ‘No Blade of Grass’ (US/UK 1970 – 96 mins)

Rediscover ‐ January 07, 2016

Derided by some critics but an always interesting piece of Sci-fi, Cornel Wilde’s eco-horror ‘No Blade of Grass’ is a gloomy doomsday drama and an interesting addition to the ‘End of the World’ genre. Kicking off with a strong opening montage of an over-populated and polluted world, it paints a depressing picture of how the environment can slowly choke us to death.

When the world is gripped by a severe grass plague, John and Ann Custance (Nigel Davenport and Jean Wallace) pack up their family, and leave a panic-stricken London to find shelter at his brother’s farm in the Lake District. …

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The Orphanage – Rediscovering ‘Blood and Lace’ (US 1971 – 87 mins)

Rediscover ‐ January 05, 2016

Mildly shocking at the time, though tame by todays standards, the low-budget yet highly watchable ‘Blood and Lace’ is an interesting and entertaining fright-flick notable for its abundant use of POV shots, and its strong adult cast.

Following the brutal murder of her prostitute mother, Ellie Masters (Melody Patterson) is sent to a creepy orphanage run by the sadistic Mrs Deere (Gloria Grahame). Although she has social worker Harold Mullins (Milton Selzer) and detective Carruthers (Vic Tayback) looking out for her, Ellie finds herself being terrorized by both the Orphanage’s caretaker; Tom (Len Lesser) and a mysterious figure in a …

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Dirty Deals & Double Crosses – Rediscovering ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’ (US 1973 – 102 mins)

Rediscover ‐ December 24, 2015

A masterful crime flick and a modern-day film noir, Peter Yates’ critically acclaimed drama ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’ is a dark and fatalistic piece about the criminal underworld that features some of the most natural acting I’ve ever seen on screen.

With a possible stretch in prison awaiting him, petty hood Eddie “Fingers” Coyle (Robert Mitchum) decides to squeal on his friends to the Feds, giving them information regarding a batch of stolen firearms. While continuing to make deals with a Boston arms dealer in order to supply guns to some bank robbers, Coyle tries to work both sides by …

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Feisty, Flirtatious & Fearful – Betty Field (1916 – 1973)

Rewind ‐ December 19, 2015

A hugely talented actress who went from playing attractive young flirts to plain motherly types, Betty Field much preferred stage to screen, and even though her movie career was sporadic, she played some memorable characters in a career spanning almost thirty years.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 8th 1916, Betty had a fondness for theatre from an early age, and by 1933 was acting on the London stage. Making her movie debut in 1939, Field had a notable role in Lewis Milestone’s terrific version of John Steinbeck’s rural tragedy ‘Of Mice and Men’(’39). Starring Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. …

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Blood, Sweat & Tears – Rediscovering ‘Sunday Too Far Away’ (Australia 1975 – 94 mins)

Rediscover ‐ December 15, 2015
Blood, Sweat & Tears – Rediscovering ‘Sunday Too Far Away’ (Australia 1975 – 94 mins)

“Friday night… too tired. Saturday night… too drunk. Sunday… too far away” – The Shearer’s Wife’s Lament

One of the first Australian movies I ever saw, the gritty and realistic drama ‘Sunday Too Far Away’ was a massive hit in its native Australia, and is one of those superb human stories which is a joy to discover. It also deservedly made a star out of its rugged and charismatic lead, Jack Thompson.

1955 South Australia; hard-living drifter Jack Foley (Jack Thompson) rides into a desert town in the outback, looking for work as a sheep shearer. Finding work on Tim King’s (Max …

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